Claims against medical practitioners for actual or alleged acts of negligence are on the rise in Malaysia. Over the past few years the number and amount of claims against doctors has increased with some high profile cases reported in the local press.
Whilst indemnity insurance is not currently compulsory by law, it has already been written in to the amendment of the Medical Act 1971 in June 2012 and is expected to come into force in 2017. Below is an excerpt of Section 20 of the principal Act as amended:
"Any fully registered person who desires to practice as a medical practitioner after the thirty-first day of December of any year and who produces evidence of having satisfied by the Council shall, not later than the first day of December of that year, make an application in the prescribed form, produce evidence of professional indemnity cover and pay the prescribed fee for a certificate to practice as a medical practitioner during the ensuing year".
Apart from regulatory reasons medical indemnity insurance should form part of any medical practitioners overall risk management philosophy and should be bought as a last line of defence to protect the practitioner in the event of an adverse incident.